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Peruvian Hass avocados to Japan mid-2015

The procedures carried out by Peru to be able to export Hass avocado to Japan, which started over five years ago, could be completed in the next four months, as announced by the head of the National Agricultural Health Service (SENASA), Jorge Barrenechea.

“We are about to finish the work plan with Japan, which will conclude in a public hearing; thus, we expect the issue to be resolved by April (2015). That entails that by mid-2015, in the worst case scenario, the Japanese market will be open to our Hass avocados,” he said.

Other destinations

He reported that, by 2015, the procedures with China for the entry of the same avocado variety will also be completed.

To this we must add that SENASA is already about to open the Korean market for mangoes.

Likewise, for next year, it is expected that Brazil will grant access to Peruvian citrus and flowers, to which end SENASA is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Brazilian Embassy in Lima.

Barrenechea pointed out that, in 2015, it is also expected that the United States will improve access for mangoes and citrus from Peru.

“In this case, we want the U.S. to authorise the entry of large mangoes, of over 650 grams, as this country currently imposes restrictions on mangoes lighter than 650 grams,” he stated.

In the case of citrus, SENASA seeks to increase the number of areas in Peru authorised to export to the U.S. market.

Citrus are only exported from Piura, Lambayeque, Lima, Ica and Junín. The goal is for Arequipa, La Libertad and Ancash to also be authorised.

SENASA to OCEX

Furthermore, to strengthen the promotion for the access of more Peruvian products to international markets, the head of SENASA announced that the Government will finish a project in January intended to ensure the presence of agricultural agents in Peru’s business offices overseas (OCEX).

SENASA will designate staff specialised in resolving sanitary and phytosanitary issues with the goal of speeding up the procedures for access to the country’s products.

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FDA Must Complete FSMA Rules by Mid-2015, Judge Says

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must publish all of the regulations required under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act by June 30, 2015, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the U.S. District Court of Northern California rejected FDA’s proposed timeline for completion of the regulations, which outlined “target timelines” of 2015 through 2016 for the publishing of all final rules.

“The court finds defendant’s ‘target timeframes’ to be an inadequate response to the request that the parties submit a proposal regarding deadlines that can form the basis of an injunction,” wrote Hamilton in her decision.

The ruling marked the latest, and possibly last, phase in the suit brought by the Center for Food Safety against FDA for the agency’s failure to meet several deadlines for the writing of FSMA-mandated rules. In a petition filed August 29, 2012, CFS asked the court to order the completion of the delayed rules.

Since that time, FDA has released three of the seven key rules that CFS sited as overdue in its filing, including the proposed rule for produce safety, the proposed rule for preventive controls across the food supply and new requirements for food facility registration.  Three other rules have been submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget, which must approve the proposed rules before they are released. These include new standards for foreign food suppliers, preventive controls for animal feed and standards ensuring the neutrality of third-party audits.

A regulation ensuring the safe transport of food, also mandated by FSMA, has yet to be submitted to OMB.

On April 13 of this year, Judge Hamilton issued a motion for summary judgment, requesting the parties to submit remedy proposals for new deadlines.

While the Court found the deadlines submitted by FDA to be too fluid, it also acknowledged the complexity of FDA’s task and did not require the agency to publish all of its final rules by May 1, 2014, the amended deadline that CFS had proposed. The Court said this date was “overly restrictive” and could also lead to the curtailing of the public comment periods for the rules, a situation the Court wished to avoid.

“This is a critical victory for consumers, farmers, and the public health,” said George Kimbrell, CFS senior attorney in a statement. “The Court’s decision will ensure FDA cannot unduly delay these life-saving measures any longer, while also ensuring all interested parties have a meaningful say in their outcome.”

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